Fermenting at home is easy, and gives your body the healthful bacteria and enzymes it needs. It's also a way to get in touch with a culinary practice that dates back thousands of years.
- 2 heaped tablespoons black loose-leaf tea (I use English Breakfast)
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 quart boiling water
- 1 quart filtered water
- 1 scoby or scoby piece (available online)
- 1 cup Kombucha (available online, or from a friend)
- you will need a 3-quart glass Le-Parfait-style jar with a rubber seal, sterilized
Put the tea, sugar, and boiling water in a pitcher and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to infuse and cool to room temperature.
Strain the tea into a 3-quart glass jar and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well with a wooden spoon and then fasten the lid.
Set aside to ferment on the kitchen countertop for 5 days, after which time the kombucha will smell appley and lightly vinegary, and look clearer and more orange in color.
I prefer to drink the kombucha at the younger stage, after 5 days, however you can leave it to ferment for up to 2 weeks if you wish. You will find that the flavor will become progressively more vinegary and effervescent the longer the kombucha ferments. I recommend starting by drinking 1/2 cup (no more) of kombucha. Reserve 1 cup of the kombucha to make a second batch.
Excerpted from Fermented: A Beginner's Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi and More by Charlotte Pike. Photography by Tara Fisher. Kyle Books, 2015.